Last-minute Easter destination inspiration and tips for planning the perfect getaway

Phuket, Thailand. Picture: Bradley Prentice/Unsplash

Phuket, Thailand. Picture: Bradley Prentice/Unsplash

Published Mar 25, 2023


The good news is that you won’t have to wait long – the Easter holidays are just around the corner!

Running from Friday, April 7 to Monday, April 10, you can enjoy four full days away – just perfect for a mini-break with family or friends.

With all this holiday time on your hands the only thing to do is take a holiday and April is the perfect month to do it. To make your life easier, we have listed our top destinations to consider for your last-minute April getaway.


Phi Phi Island, Thailand. Picture: Unsplash/Evan Krause

Asia has some of the best sun destinations for a cultural, relaxing and spiritual holiday. Thailand and Bali are two popular destinations for South Africans.

Thailand is a budget-friendly, visa-free destination, and it is no surprise that it is a much-loved destination for South Africans.

The island offers the ultimate family holiday destination, allowing couples a variety of holiday fun. From picturesque beaches, laid-back and friendly locals, fascinating street food, local fauna and exhilarating theme parks, it promises the adventure of a lifetime.

The second favourite, Bali, offers active holidaymakers an authentic experience. The destination is known for golf and is an idyllic place to practise your swing.

Travellers can also sail across the waters to Gili Trawangan and explore the island by bicycle. Treat the family to a Balinese shadow theatre performance.


Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. Picture: Syd Sujuaan/Unsplash

The Maldives have grown in popularity, from local to international celebrities. It has also become an Indian Ocean holiday and honeymoon destination.

With its powdery white beaches, fascinating and colourful marine life, over-water accommodation and superb cuisine, it offers an abundance of natural beauty and a tourist-friendly climate.

Surfing and diving are a big part of life in the Maldives and many visitors look forward to grabbing a board, hitting the waves and exploring the stunning and varied coral and marine life.

Couple enjoying a bicycle ride on the beach, Maldives. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Treat the family to a once-in-a-lifetime magical guided swim alongside tame sea turtles or make memories on a sunset cruise where you’ll find schools of dolphins flipping and frolicking alongside your boat.


Istanbul, Türkiye. Picture: Unsplash/Lewis J Goetz

Türkiye is a cultural heaven that is teeming with historical and archaeological delights. There’s plenty to explore – shopping, cuisine, parks, museums and culture. Turkey is full of towns, historical sites and attractions perfect for day trips.

It’s also home to some of the top beaches in Europe. The beach is not only meant for you to bake in the sun. There’s watersports for days; sailing, waterskiing, paragliding, scuba and wreck diving, snorkelling and paddle boarding, an all-inclusive stay will be fun for the whole family!

Additionally, four of Türkiye’s cities are on the top 10 cheapest Mediterranean cities for a coastal getaway. Foodies can indulge in delicious cuisine that is infused with Mediterranean and Middle East influences.

Must-try dishes to sample are authentic mezze, börek (a savoury pastry) and the delicious creamy cheeses which form part of the country’s rich culinary culture.

Must try experiences include a Turkish steam hammam (bath), hunting for keepsakes at the Grand Bazaar, or hot air balloon ride over the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia.

Enjoy an unforgettable hot air balloon experience over the landscape of Cappadocia. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Five tips for planning the perfect Easter getaway

Whether you’re planning a trip for the Easter Weekend, or a much-needed holiday, planning a trip can be daunting. However, there are ways to have a stress-free getaway whether you’re planning a trip locally or internationally.

Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts said: “It’s never too early to start planning for your next vacation, especially if it’s during the holiday season.

In South Africa, we’re blessed with great weather at this time of year and people travel from all corners of the country to make memories with their loved ones before the cooler winter days set in. As a result, it’s one of the busiest times for travel.’’

Here are Shaun’s five tips for a stress-free Easter getaway:

Get the children involved in the planning process of your holiday, and keep Easter traditions alive no matter where you are. Picture supplied.

Do your research

Whether you’re doing a self-drive holiday or hopping on a plane, spend time researching where you want to go and everything you want to do before you leave. And get the kids involved too; let them research destinations and activities on the internet and get them excited.

Choose your ideal getaway

Are you planning a romantic getaway with your partner or a fun-filled family holiday? From surfing to hiking or simply soaking up the sun while sipping a cocktail, the type of holiday you’re planning will influence your destination of choice. Perhaps you want the option to do everything! If so, holiday resorts offer a wide variety of entertainment and attractions.


Putting a budget in place can help you manage your finances and ensure your holiday is as stress-free and full of fun as possible. ‘’In South Africa,“ says Shaun, ”we’re fortunate to have a huge selection of affordable accommodation options, and self-catering holidays, in particular, are more economical and allow you to stretch your money further.“ Located across the country.

Book your spot

Avoid the rush, book your flights well in advance, particularly ahead of peak times such as Easter, you can often get cheaper rates. More than that though, it will ensure that there are no last-minute disappointments due to full flights.

When it comes to accommodation, do your research online and then contact the hotel or resort directly to make your booking. From all-inclusive rates to holiday discounts, they often run special offers that can help you save.

Plan your activities

A holiday is meant for adventures and different experiences right? Therefore, plan something special for each day, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Find out what local attractions, as well as on-site activities (such as special meals, spa treatments, picnics, horse and hiking trails) are on offer and book these in advance where possible to avoid disappointment.

“Don’t forget, though, to allow time for spontaneous stops and a bit of fun along the way too,” says Shaun, who encourages people to keep their Easter traditions alive even while they’re on holiday.

“Do an Easter egg hunt, plan a special breakfast or lunch, but most importantly, be present in the moment and use this time away to truly connect with your family,” concludes Lamont, who reminds us that making lasting, magical memories are what holidays are all about.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.